Huge discrepancy in Windows 11 (22504) folder size.


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I'm not bothered by it at all. It's just something I never noticed before.
I know there are a lot of hidden files, shadow copies etc., but that much?

Win-11-Folder-Size.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
Is your drive compressed?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel i9 14900KF
    Motherboard
    Asus z790 ProArt Creator WiFi
    Memory
    64GB Corsair Vengeance RGB
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI 4090 Suprim X
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Asus 24". 1 x Asus 32"
    Hard Drives
    Multiple
    PSU
    Corsair 1200HX
    Case
    Corsair 7000D RGB
    Cooling
    Corsair H150I Capellix XT
    Keyboard
    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2
    Mouse
    Corsair M55 RGB Pro
No, it's not. Standard fresh install from MS ISO (22483), then it updated to current.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
Really strange, run Chkdsk on the drive, reboot and let it check the drive.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel i9 14900KF
    Motherboard
    Asus z790 ProArt Creator WiFi
    Memory
    64GB Corsair Vengeance RGB
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI 4090 Suprim X
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Asus 24". 1 x Asus 32"
    Hard Drives
    Multiple
    PSU
    Corsair 1200HX
    Case
    Corsair 7000D RGB
    Cooling
    Corsair H150I Capellix XT
    Keyboard
    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2
    Mouse
    Corsair M55 RGB Pro
I wonder if you have any sparse files. That could account for the discrepancy.

As an example, when you create a VM, you can create the file in such a manner that it starts small and can grow as needed.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
Chkdsk reports no errors.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
I wonder if you have any sparse files. That could account for the discrepancy.

As an example, when you create a VM, you can create the file in such a manner that it starts small and can grow as needed.
My VMs are on a separate drive. I always allocat the full disk size (for performance reasons).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
XYPlorer File Manager reports the same sizes as Windows File Explorer.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
Found a good example. Try this:

Open a command prompt and change directories to some location where you can create a temporary file.

Run these commands:

FSUtil File CreateNew temp 0x100000
FSUtil Sparse SetFlag temp
FSUtil Sparse SetRange temp 0 0x100000

This will create a 1 MB file as a sparse file. Right-click the file (temp) and choose properties. Notice that the size is 1 MB but size on disk is zero.

When done, delete the file.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
My VMs are on a separate drive. I always allocat the full disk size (for performance reasons).
A VM was simply an example. There are other things that create sparse files. You can use FSUTIL in a simple batch file to recurse all files on your drive to find any sparse files.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
Well, fsutil experiment turned out like you said. So, I probably have a huge amount of "sparse" files in my Windows folder.
A VM was simply an example. There are other things that create sparse files. You can use FSUTIL in a simple batch file to recurse all files on your drive to find any sparse files.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
I wonder if something like WizTree or Sequoia will shed some light on this, or if its worth the trouble. Like I said, It doesn't bother me that much since there is still a huge amount of free space on the Windows partition, and Windows itself works like a charm. Although, now I'm starting to be a little intrigued by this.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
I upgraded from win 10 to win 11 yesterday and did a DiskClean

Windows folder 17GB
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    No Name - Assembled by a Compute shop in a Strip Mall.
    CPU
    Intel i511400
    Motherboard
    ASUS PRIME B560-PLUS motherboard
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    0
    Sound Card
    0
    Monitor(s) Displays
    28 in Samsung
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    6 SSDs a mixture of 3 Nvme and 3 Sata.
    PSU
    600w
    Case
    Antec- VSK4000E-U3 Mid Tower
    Internet Speed
    40 MPS download and 3.5 MPS upload. The condo building is nor wired with Fibe yet
    Browser
    Firefox, Microsoft Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
I have run disk cleanup a couple of times. Same result.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
It is because of the use of hard links in Windows. Properties counts the size of each hardlink reference so can count the real space to a linked file or folder multiple times.
This is particularly evident in the WinSxS folder in Windows. Same in Windows 10:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    DIY Photoshop/Game/tinker build
    CPU
    Intel i9 13900KS 5.7 P cores 4.4 GHz / E 5 /cache 5
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Dark Hero
    Memory
    64GB (2x32) G.skill Trident Z5 RGB 6400 @6800 MT/s 32-40-40-52
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus ROG Strix 4070 Ti OC
    Sound Card
    Onboard Audio, Vanatoo Transparent One; Klipsch R-12SWi Sub; Creative Pebble Pro Minimilist
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo CG2730, ViewSonic VP2768
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p x 2
    Hard Drives
    WDC SN850 1TB nvme, SK-Hynix 2 TB P41 nvme, Raid 0: 1TB 850 EVO + 1TB 860 EVO SSD. Sabrent USB-C DS-SC5B 5-bay docking station: 6TB WDC Black, 6TB Ironwolf Pro; 2x 2TB WDC Black
    PSU
    850W Seasonic Vertex PX-850
    Case
    Fractal Design North XL Mesh, Black Walnut
    Cooling
    EKWB 360 Nucleus Dark AIO w/Phanteks T30-120 fans, 1 Noctua NF-A14 Chromax case fan, 1 T30-120 fan cooling memory
    Keyboard
    Glorious GMMK TKL mechanical, lubed modded -meh
    Mouse
    Logitech G305 wireless gaming
    Internet Speed
    380 Mb/s down, 12 Mb/s up
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender, Macrium Reflect 8 ;-)
    Other Info
    Runs hot. LOL
  • Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple 13" Macbook Pro 2020 (m1)
    CPU
    Apple M1
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1600
    Browser
    Firefox
This is what my Win 10 VM shows:

Win-10-Folder-Size.png

Here, you would think the "Size on disk" figure would be larger than the "Size" figure, no?
But at least the figures seem to be on the normal side.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 RP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q-1
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE @3.30 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3151
    Memory
    20 GB DDR4 2666 (1x16GB + 1x4GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 11
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 2369
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD 512 GB NVME + SPCC 240GB SATA SSD
    PSU
    External 65W
    Case
    Mini (1L)
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